Happy Thanksgiving!

I was never a fan of cranberry sauce. I don't think I ever tried the stuff that came out of a can. It always looked too scary to me. And the way you could just cut it in slices...didn't seem right. But I'm sure it's good, and it's just my personal hang up.

If, however, like me you're looking for an alternative to traditional cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving (or any time!), try this cranberry-pear chutney with walnuts. It's amazing and it's super-easy to make. This has become a crowd favorite at our house.

(Note: this is not a shot of my particular chutney, but you get the idea.)

Time: 30 minutes

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion
4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and diced small
1 cup dried cranberries (I throw in extra 'cause I love them)
3/4 cup verjuice or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large casserole over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add pears, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

2. Add cranberries, verjuice, brown sugar, cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until liquid evaporates, 10-12 minutes. (Pears should be tender but not mushy.) Stir in walnuts and salt. Chutney can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Discard spices before serving.

Yield: 4 cups



Anonymous The Old Man said:

I have only eaten it out of a can, which is why I need to try making it from scratch. Is there a reason why you use dried cranberries, as opposed to cooking the fresh ones, and using them?

3:35 PM  

Blogger Santa said:

That really looks delicious and sounds marvelous. You can admit that is a picture of your own dish of chutney.

I do have to say that one of the fringe benefits to owning your own gourmet shop in the Hudson Valley is having a chef who makes THE most amazing cranberry sauce with just the right pucker and punch. It certainly takes the pressure off.

1:50 AM  

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